A day away from Chartwell is a day wastedWinston Churchill
Churchill was a mastermind and a figure of history all remember. He was a powerhouse. Chartwell House is a perfect reminder of the man and all he did for his country. It was his beloved house (he had many I believe and even a palace thrown in for good measure) and you can see why he loved it so much.
With a quick 40-minute car journey away from south London this National Trust site makes for an easy and convenient day trip and is perfect for those sunny afternoons for a picnic.
How to get to Chartwell House from London
Train- You can catch a train from London Bridge or London Victoria much the same as if you were going to Hever castle, to Edenbridge and Oxted. Or you could take a train to Sevenoaks station from London Charing Cross, Waterloo East, and London Bridge. You would have to catch a taxi to get to the house from the station as there are no alternatives.
Bus- You will have to make your way to south London. More specifically Bromley south and take the 246 bus directly to Chartwell House. The bus will take you around 45 minutes. The benefit of this is the price. Buses are so much cheaper than trains so yay on saving. Think about it you can pay £1.50 and have a nice day out surrounded by woods and a lake.
Car – from central London, it will take around 1h20 to drive to Chartwell. The address is Mapleton Road, Westerham, Kent, TN16 1PS. There is plenty of parking available when you get there as they have two parking spaces. Parking is free for members and costs £4.00 for non-members
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What is special about Chartwell house and why you should go?
So there are a few obvious reasons as to why this house is famous and why you should go, but if you are not too fussed by Churchill then what’s the point of going right?
Well, I’m going to tell you the point. You didn’t think I built that all up for nothing right so here it is. It’s just a nice place. Haha, I know nice sounds underwhelming and when I first started following the numbered guide on the map I was a bit underwhelmed but it got better.
They give you a numbered map of the grounds and surrounding area but when the first point on the map is a small pond and the next one is a butterfly house with no butterflies and a few random tomatoes on the ground. You start to get a bit worried. I have a theory that’s how they build up the rest of the house and grounds so by the time you actually start exploring you truly appreciate the importance and grandeur of where you are.
The grounds themselves are expansive with a small lake and a gaggle of geese to keep you company (yes I did google what you call a group of geese). This would be perfect for a picnic and we did see many people chilling in the “English sun” (read clouds). There are also quite a few woodlands walks to be explored surrounding the house.
The studio is where Churchill spent a lot of time. Just off the house, it’s lovely to see. Churchill had a love an talent for painting. Throughout his life, he has created many great pieces of artwork.
The house is well worth the trip and made the trip for me. I love to know how other people live and this is a fully exclusive view on how the ex prime minister and his wife spent their time. They have created an exhibition within the house with all of Churchill’s past uniforms, medals, multiple shiny gifts, awards, and accolades he has received.
When leaving the house there is a further exhibition leading you through Churchill’s life and his many roles both in his personal and professional life. You even get to see the dining room (my favourite room) and kitchen. Once you leave the house make sure to visit the gardens just above the studio.
The gardens have a wall that was built by Churchill himself and a beautiful row of lavender and roses. Off to the side, you have a chicken pen that looks like fort Knox. We did see a chicken trying with all her might to dig at the corner so I think we were watching the real-life chicken run. That would explain the fort knoxesque chicken pen.
Pricing and food at Chartwell
There are two types of tickets at Chartwell. One for the house and the other for the studio and gardens. The house is set on a timed ticket so you need to be quite strategic about getting your tickets otherwise you will miss out.
You can prebook certain timeslots for the house several days in advance. If you are looking for a ticket on the same day then you have to take your chances. They suggest going early to ensure you bag a spot as it can get busy. The last entry to the house is 16.00 and only 8 people are allowed at that time slot.
The below prices are pulled from their website as of August 2019
|Garden, Studio, and house||Gift Aid||Standard|
|Group AdultMinimum group size 15||N/A||£14.00|
|Group ChildMinimum group size 15||N/A||£7.00|
|Garden and studio only||Gift Aid||Standard|
Food options at Chartwell include the cafe just outside the ticket grounds. Like most national trust places I think they are more on the pricy side. So do bring your own snacks and food if you’re on a budget. We had a cake and a coffee each which were decent. Nothing like my dad’s bakery though.
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The 20-second breakdown
Entry Fee– £17.50 with gift aid £15.50 without. If you just want access to the studio and the grounds it’s £10.00 with gift aid £9.00 without. You can only see the house in a timed slot. A few timeslots are available to book online but the rest are on a first come first serve basis so get there early. Parking is £4.00 for non-members
Opening times– The grounds are open from 10.00-17.00 and the house is open from 12.00-17.00. Last entry to the house is just before 16.00. There is a small tour for 8 people at 16.00 that you can try to get your hands on otherwise it is self-guided.
Food– They have a cafe on site which as always I find quite pricy. They also have a lovely gift shop with some great goodies from books to garden tools.
That’s all the information I have for you guys today. Hope you enjoyed it and do let me know if you end up going there.